Blepharidina matabelelandensis, Iannella & Biondi, 2019

Iannella, Paola D’Alessandro Mattia & Biondi, Maurizio, 2019, Revision of the Afrotropical flea beetle subgenus Blepharidina s. str. Bechyné (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae), Zootaxa 4545 (1): -

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Blepharidina matabelelandensis

sp. nov.

Blepharidina matabelelandensis   sp. nov.

( Figs 14 View FIGURES 11–19 , 24 View FIGURES 20–25 , 50 View FIGURES 50–54 , 61 View FIGURES 55–67 , 69 View FIGURES 68–69 )

Type material. Holotype ♂: “ Zimbabwe, 50 km S of Bulawayo (20°33'S 28°36'E), Matobo Nat. Park , 3– 5.xii.1995, S. Bečvář leg.” ( BAQ) GoogleMaps   . Paratype. ZIMBABWE: Lonely ( Lonely Mine , 19°30'S 28°45'E), H. Swale leg., 1 ♀ ( BMNH) GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. Blepharidina matabelelandensis   sp. nov. shows clear affinities with B. himba   sp. nov. These two species share similar size, habitus, color pattern ( Figs 7 View FIGURES 1–10 , 14 View FIGURES 11–19 ), and a very slender aedeagus with laterally widely rounded apical part in ventral view ( Figs 43 View FIGURES 38–43 , 50 View FIGURES 50–54 ). B. matabelelandensis   sp. nov. can be easily distinguishable from B. himba   sp. nov. by the: darker integuments; different arrangement of the pronotal punctures, with three lateral groups and a small basal medial group (two lateral groups and an elongate medial group in B. himba   sp. nov.) ( Figs 21, 24 View FIGURES 20–25 ); aedeagus in ventral view fusiform from base to subapical part (clearly tapered in B. himba   sp. nov.) ( Figs 43 View FIGURES 38–43 , 50 View FIGURES 50–54 ).

Description of the holotype (♂). Body elliptical-elongate, rather convex ( Fig. 14 View FIGURES 11–19 ); LB = 7.88 mm; maximum pronotal width (WP = 3.13 mm) in basal third; maximum elytral width (WE = 4.25 mm) in middle. Head brown with pale clypeus and labrum; antennae yellowish; pronotum with several yellow patches, and brown and black areas; elytra mostly blackish, with numerous yellow patches on interstriae; legs brown, with paler tarsi. Head distinctly pubescent, roughly and densely punctate; frontal grooves short, distinctly impressed near upper ocular margin; frontal tubercles small, paler than head, weakly raised; interantennal space distinctly wider than length of first antennomere; interocular space wider than transverse ocular width; antennae slightly longer than half body length (LAN = 4.50 mm; LAN/LB = 0.57); LA: 100:40:79:84:105:90:95:87:79:76:84. Pronotum ( Fig. 24 View FIGURES 20–25 ) subrectangular, moderately transverse (LP = 1.81 mm; WP/LP = 1.72), with clearly sinuate lateral margin; anterior margin slightly thicker than basal margin, and clearly sinuate laterally; anterior angles distinctly prominent laterally; pronotal surface with lines and groups of differently sized punctures, with no striae of punctures in middle; pronotal base with two lateral, distinctly impressed, longitudinal striae. Scutellum brown, subrounded, moderately elongate. Elytra moderately elongate (LE = 6.13 mm; WE/LE = 0.69; LE/LP = 3.38), subparallel laterally, jointly rounded and entirely covering pygidium posteriorly; punctation deeply impressed, arranged in 9 (+ 1 scutellar) regular rows; interstriae distinctly carinate laterally and posteriorly. First pro- and mesotarsomeres distinctly dilated; tarsal claws bifid. Ventral parts brown; last abdominal ventrite without distinctive preapical impressions. Aedeagus (LAED = 3.59 mm; LE/LAED = 1.70) ( Fig. 50 View FIGURES 50–54 ) in ventral view fusiform from base to subapical part; apical part widely rounded, with a median tooth; ventral sulcus deep, open towards basal part; in lateral view, aedeagus straight in basal 2/3s, then distinctly curved dorsally, with apex ventrally bent; dorsal ligula connected to about apical fourth, with slightly carinate basal surface.

Variation. Paratype (female) similar in shape, sculpture and color to the holotype. Tarsi not dilated. Spermatheca ( Fig. 61 View FIGURES 55–67 ) with piriform, thick, very sclerotized basal part; distal part short and thin, clearly bent; ductus apically inserted, very thick, with S-shaped distal part. Morphometry in Appendix 2.

Etymology. The female specific epithet is after Matabeleland, the Zimbabwe region where the species was collected.

Distribution. Zimbabwe ( Fig. 69 View FIGURES 68–69 ). Possibly Central Afrotropical (CAT) chorotype.

Ecological notes. Not available. The collection site falls within the area of Miombo & Associated Broadleaf Savanna (belonging to the Tropical Lowland Grassland, Savanna & Shrubland formation).